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Mr. Levin 39, Us 27, Hamdi 24, United States 23, Levin 20, Michigan 18, U.s. 16, Afghanistan 16, Oklahoma 15, America 12, Feinstein 12, Mr. Mccain 11, New York 10, Navy 9, Arizona 8, Mrs. Feinstein 7, Mr. Inhofe 6, California 5, Durbin 5, Mr. Graham 5,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    November 29, 2012
    8:00 - 11:00pm EST  

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the first thing you do in j.a.g. school, you have a discussion about the difference between the law of war and criminal law. and every military lawyer is taught from the very beginning of their career that law of war detention is designed to neutralize the enemy and to gather intelligence about the enemy. there is a reason that when we capture somebody in a war, we don't give them a trial by jury, we don't give them a lawyer. we have got 3,000 people in american military custody in afghanistan that were captured on the battlefield. and they are held under the law of war because we don't want to let them go back to killing us, and they are not given a lawyer because we're not trying to solve a crime, we're trying to win a war. and here's the question. to my good friend from
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california, i don't want anyone to believe that under the law of war construct that we have created over the last seven or eight years, that you can be put in jail because you look like a muslim, that you sound like a muslim, that you have got a name muhammad. what happened to japanese american citizens, they were put in military custody because we were all afraid and they looked like the enemy. that was not a high point in america. what are we talking about here? we're talking about detaining people under the law of war who are suspected of joining al qaeda of the taliban in engaging in a belligerent act against the united states.
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now, i want to make the record clear that some of my colleagues on the republican side have been trying to deny law of war detention to the obama administration, and they have openly said this. if you allow this to happen, president obama is going to put you in jail because of political dissent. there are people on my side who are afraid of law of war detention being in barack obama's hand because they think -- they hate him so much, they think that he is going to use a provision to protect us against an al qaeda attack to put them in jail because they disagree with his agenda. and it gets worse. i want you to know this. there has been a statement in our conference that habeas corpus reviewed by an independent judiciary for the intelligence community, the military would have to prove in court by a preponderance of the evidence that the person in question has, in fact, engaged
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in hostilities against the united states by helping the taliban or al qaeda, that's a requirement of the government. they have to prove that to the judge. that's not really a check on government power because the judge could be an obama appointee. as much as i disagree with president obama, as much as i think he has been a divisive president, in many ways has failed to lead, i want to disassociate myself from the concept that you can't give this commander in chief the powers that commander in chiefs have enjoyed in other wars because we hate him so much. and to my friends who get on the internet and talk radio and stoke this paranoia, we're afraid enough for good reason. this is a dangerous world. we're about to walk off the fiscal cliff. we have people out there trying to undermine our way of life.
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there is a lot to be afraid of -- al qaeda coming back to our shores, recruiting american citizens to help their endeavors. i hate to say it. in every war we have ever been in, there have been occasions where americans joined the enemy. and in world war ii, that happened. you had german saboteurs land in long island, aided and abetted by american citizens sympathetic to the nazis. all of those american citizens in in re curran were held in military custody and tried by the military because we have long understood that when you join the enemy, that is not a crime but an act of war. we have very bad people who get a right to a jury trial. i will be the first one to say that when you go to court, no matter if you're the worst terrorist in the world, you will get a jury trial, you will get a lawyer and you will have your due process rights. but the difference that i'm
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trying to inform the body of, when you're fighting a war, the goal is not to prosecute people. the goal is to win. and how do you win a war? you kill them, you capture them and you interrogate them to find out what they're up to next. so i am here to say to my colleagues that the al qaeda taliban efforts to do harm to our nation are alive and growing. the narrative that al qaeda has been decimated is a false narrative. what happened in libya, unfortunately, is going to happen again, and i know my good friend from california who is chairman of the intelligence committee knows there is active efforts in our own back yard -- joe lieberman can tell you, too -- to recruit american citizens to attack us, not to commit a crime.
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to join the enemy. and all i am suggesting is that boeheim -- barack obama and every commander in chief in the future needs to have the tools available to protect us against an enemy, and the basic question is is fighting al qaeda fighting a crime or fighting a war? i believe with all my heart and soul that they don't want our property, they don't want our cars, they don't want our bank account. they want to destroy us. they hate what we stand for. and just like in world war ii, when you decided to help the nazis, you were held in military custody because you did something other than commit a crime. and the goal here is if you capture an american citizen who has sided with the enemy, is that we preserve the ability of our military and our intelligence community to find out what they know about future
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attacks and present attacks. the goal of a criminal prosecution is to find justice under a criminal statute. the goal in time of war is to win. i don't believe in torturing people to get good information, but i do believe in interrogating them for military purposes if they have sided with the enemy. so, ladies and gentlemen, this is a great debate but the one thing i do not want to associate myself with is as much as i may disagree with this president's agenda, there are people on my side of the aisle that are stirring up their fellow americans, making them afraid that barack obama could use legitimate powers in a time of war to gather intelligence against people who have sided with the enemy to come after them because they look different or they may have a different
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political belief. and i want to disassociate myself with those on my side of the aisle who say that habeas corpus, an independent judiciary, is not an adequate check because barack obama may have appointed the judge. that undermines our judiciary, that creates paranoia, that creates a fundamental distrust of what i think is something we should be all proud of -- america. this war will last probably longer than most of us. it's an ideological struggle. there is no capital to conquer. like berlin and japan, there is no air force to shoot down, there is no navy to sink. it is about an ideology that must be contained in thought, an ideology, unfortunately, that will be attracted to some americans as it was in other
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wars. unfortunately, as i speak today, the enemy is trying to come back to our shores and use some american citizens to further their cause. to an american citizen, do not join al qaeda or the taliban, do not turn on your country, do not side with their view of humanity. and if you do, you have not committed a crime. you have engaged in an act of war against the rest of us, and we have a right to win this war. we have a right to hold you under the law of armed conflict like we've held others in the past to find out why you joined, what you know and what they are up to next. there is no american citizen in law of war custody. this president has not rounded up one person and put them in
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jail using the statutes that exist today because they disagree with him, and i don't believe he will. all i'm asking is that we have options available in this war that have existed in every war america's fought. because here is my bottom line belief, that as much as the nazis represented a threat to humanity, al qaeda represents an equal threat to humanity. and nobody in world war ii would have entertained the idea that if you side with the nazis and you help the saboteurs blow up parts of america, you should be considered anything other than an enemy who has joined the other side. so unlike criminal law when you're trying to find justice for victims, this is about winning a war and marginalizing
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senator levin has been an absolute 100% voice of reason to talk about authorization to use force and the ability to detain and i will end with this thought. if you deny the ability to gather intelligence and to detainee, you don't want to put our troops in a position where they have to kill everybody they find. we want to capture the enemy when we can because when you capture the enemy, not only do you hurt the enemy, you find out a lot of what they're up to and here's the question: if an
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american citizen is engaging in helping al qaeda and the taliban in a terrorist activity on our shores, are they the enemy? yes, they are. and we need to know about why they did what they did and what they're going to do next. with that, i will recognize our senator levin. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mrs. feinstein: how much time renains on our side? the presiding officer: nine minutes, 15 seconds. mrs. feinstein: may i respond? mr. levin: i have no objection. how many time remains on our side? the presiding officer: 17 minutes and 24 seconds. mrs. feinstein: i will wait until the end and give the distinguished chairman the opportunity. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, it would be my intent if we need additional time, unless there
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is something else that is needed about 9:30 or so when this time runs out to seek additional time for both -- for anyone who needs it, frankly. i don't know about both sides because this is a multifaceted debate we're going to have here tonight on this issue. so i would yield myself ten minutes and would ask to be notified when i get to ten minutes. mr. president, the feinstein amendment provides that no authorization for the use of military force may be construed to authorize the detention of u.s. citizens or lawful resident aliens who are captured inside the united states unless -- and this is a big "unless" -- an act of congress expressly authorizes such detention. as i read the amendment, it says that the military detention
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of u.s. citizens may be authorized in accordance with the law of war as long as this action is expressly authorized by congress. further, the amendment's requirement for express authorization applies only to the detention of u.s. citizens who are captured inside the united states, so no such authorization would be required for detention of a u.s. citizen in the course of military operations overseas. i believe it is appropriate that congress focus on the issue of military detention at the time that they authorize the use of military force. as would be required by the feinstein amendment. as the supreme court has stated, detention is a fundamental and accepted incident to armed conflict. without such authority, our
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armed services could be put in the untenable position of being able to shoot to kill but not to capture and detain enemy forces. as to the ongoing conflict, i believe that the 2001 authorization for the use of military force authorized the detention of u.s. citizens when appropriate in accordance with the laws of war. now, i base this view on the fact that the supreme court has said so. in the hamdi case, the supreme court considered the relationship between the aumf and the nondetention act which prohibits the detention of a u.s. citizen except where authorized by an act of congress. the supreme court held in hamdi that this statute does not
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preclude the detention of u.s. citizens on the battlefield in afghanistan because the 2000 authorization for the use of military force -- and i'm quoting the supreme court -- -- quote -- "is explicit congressional authorization for the detention of individuals" -- close quote in such circumstances. the court explained that such detention is so fundamental and accepted as an incident to war as to be an exercise of the -- quote -- "necessary and appropriate force" -- close quote that congress authorized the president to use in the aumf. in other words, the supreme court has already concluded that the authorization to use necessary and appropriate force
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is an explicit authorization to detain enemy combatants in accordance with the law of war, and that meets the test of the feinstein amendment. any other conclusion would lead to absurd results under which we would tie the hands of our armed forces even in the face of an actual invasion. for example, if a group of terrorists were to approach one of our navy bases in boats loaded with bombs, our sailors protecting those ships at that base would be in the untenable position of being able to shoot to kill but not to capture the enemy forces if hamdi did not reach the conclusion it did. similarly, in the unthinkable event that we were to experience a 9/11-type attack, our
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military would be in the untenable position of having the authority to shoot down the hijacked aircraft but not to force them to land and to capture the enemy hijackers. and, of course, we could not expect our military to inquire whether any of the enemy force were american citizens before deciding the level of force to be applied. as the supreme court explained in its hamdi decision, -- quote -- "the capture, detention, and trial of unlawful combatants by universal agreement and practice are important incidents of war and a fundamental and accepted incident to war." what the supreme court said in hamdi is explicit in the aumf, in the authorization for use of
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military force. quote, "the core law of war" for our military to capture and detain those who join enemy forces at a time of war and plan or participate in attacks against us. this core authority to use less than lethal force rather than least lethal force in appropriate circumstances must be available to our military whenever and wherever it engages with the enemy. now, again, senator fiems' amendment does not -- feinstein's amendment does not prohibit the military detention of u.s. citizens who are captured or apprehended inside the united states because a u.s. citizen who joins a foreign army and attacks the united states should be subject to detention as an enemy combatant if -- if -- it does not prohibit
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military detention. if it is expressly authorized by law. which i read as a statute authorizing the use of military force itself or some other act of congress. now, this is a major difference between -- or from the amendment that senator feinstein offered last year, which included no exception for congressional authorization. this new approach is appropriate. because i believe that congress ought to address the issue of detention of u.s. citizens when captured in the u.s. at the time that we authorize the use of force. the supreme court in hamdi held that the existing authorization for use of military force does
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address this issue and does explicitly, in their words, authorize detention of u.s. citizens in that situation, which was on the battlefield in afghanistan. but that it explicitly, again in the words of the hamdi court, authorized the detention of u.s. citizens in the case of an individual who is captured in afghanistan who is attacking u.s. forces. i believe that the same reasoning applies to persons who join foreign armies and attack us militarily here in the united states. when they bring the war here to the united states and attack us here. if they attack a navy base and are captured by sailors defending their ships, the same logic that hamdi applied to an
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attack in afghanistan against our forces applies here. the same reasoning that they used in that case to find that there was an explicit authorization for the detention of u.s. citizens in afghanistan circumstance, which is that it is an hirnt, fundamental function of going to war that you be able to capture and detain people who are at war with you, applies when that act of war is carried out here in the united states, such as in the attack on a navy base. and i would just ask for one additional minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: the feinstein amendment provides an appropriate signal to congress that in authorizing conflicts, they should be aware of detention authority issues.
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and so i intend to vote for the feinstein amendment and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: may i ask how much time is on our side, left on the other side, or if --. the presiding officer: 17 minutes. ms. ayotte: 17 minutes in opposition? the presiding officer: yes. ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise to agree with my colleague, senator levin, the chairman of the armed services committee, in his interpretation of the hamdi decision with regard to the view of the current amendment pending
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before us, the feinstein amendment includes different language than the amendment that was brought forward and defeated in this body last year, the language says that unless -- the language says in paragraph 2-b-1 that an authorization to use military force, the declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the united states apprehended in the united states unless an act of congress expressly authorizes that such detention, and i do view, as my colleague from michigan does, senator levin, the hamdi decision that was decided before our united states supreme court as rendering an opinion that the current authorization for the use of military force that is in effect
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for our country gives explicit congressional authority for the detention of individuals that are in the case of hamdi, was an american citizen engaged in the battle against our country, would fall underneath the authorization for military force, and in the hamdi decision, the court said that the aumf that is currently -- having been approved by congress and having the full force and effect of law, gives explicit congressional authorization for such detention. i too believe, as senator levin has said, that that authorization, the hamdi decision would be interpreted similarly if an individual who was a covered individual, a member who was covered by the authorization for military force but was nevertheless a united
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states citizen was caught here committing an act of terrorism in this country and our supreme court has already interpreted that in hamdi in such a way. so i wanted to add my support for his interpretation of the current feinstein language in that way, and then i would also like to say in response to the arguments of some of my colleagues that if the -- if the argument that is being made is this, that if you are an american citizen that is captured in this country committing an act of terrorism against our country and collaborating with al qaeda, committing belligerent acts in this country, then you should be held under the law of war because if you are not, then we will have to give you miranda rights, we'll have to tell you you have the right to remain silent. and let me just remind, in those situations, can you imagine if
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an american citizen had been one of the collaborators on 9/11? would we want to tell a member of someone who had committed an act like 9/11 against us, an act of war against our country, the first thing they hear is you have the right to remain silent? our goal has to be there to gather intelligence to make sure is there another attack coming? is it coming on our pentagon? is it coming toward the white house? is it coming to that second tower so we can protect american lives? that's the difference between the law of war and common crimes. that's an important distinction that has been recognized long before, with all respect to my colleague from kentucky, in world war ii in in ray quirin, our united states supreme court in world war ii recognized this authority, the difference between the law of war. in that case, an american citizen who collaborated with the nazis was held under the law of war because our country was at war. i would also like to point out that this would only cover under
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the current law authorized by this congress, it would not apply to someone who is holding ammunition or someone who is paying with cash. it only applies to a person who has planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attack that occurred on september 11 or harbored those responsible for the attacks, or a person who has a part or has substantially supported al qaeda, the taliban or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the united states or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of enemy forces against our country. that's very, very different than some of the examples that were cited here. it's called being a member of al qaeda, being involved in september 11, being a member of the taliban and committing belligerent acts against this country. that's terrorism. and let me just point out what i think is the most absurd
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distinction of all. this is anwar al-awaqi. he is someone who is a united states citizen. he is someone who was an influential leader in al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. he advocated for violent jihad. he was involved in a dozen terror investigations. he was involved -- alleged to be involved in killing americans and collaborating to kill our allies, and on september 30, 2011, it was reported that al-awaqi was killed by the c.i.a. in a drone strike in yemen. yet, if it's being interpreted, as we have heard by some of my colleagues represented here, the feinstein amendment were interpreted the way they have interpreted it, if al-awaqi made it to america to commit these terrorist acts, he gets his miranda rights, he gets all his rights here, but yet if he is in yemen committing acts to try to kill americans and our allies, then we can use a drone attack
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to him, but if he makes it to america -- which, by the way, the terrorists want to make it to america. 9/11 is exhibit a of that. why we would want to be in a position to read them their miranda rights, tell them you have the right to remain silent, our priority there has to be protecting american lives. that's the distinction between the law of war and a law with a common criminal in this country. and by the way, there are protections under the law. it's the right of habeas corpus where you do have a right to challenge your detention before the federal court with appeals with counsel, and that is certainly a protection that we have respected in this country for a long time. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: thank you. i would like to inform the body that i think senator levin's understanding and reasoning is incredibly sound. we have actually been talking about this for a couple of days.
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in light of the hamdi decision, just plain old common sense, i will support the feinstein amendment, and i will be the first to say if we're attacked by the iranians tomorrow or some other group, we have an authorization to use force, senator levin and i will be the first one to say in that authorization we will provide if an american citizen joins the iranians in a war against america, they can be detained under law of war. and you can vote however you would like. i know how i would vote. but this has already gone up to the supreme court. and senator levin, if i could kind of build on what you said as to the logic of the court and i think the logic of our position, let's get us back to the united states. i don't think anybody in their right mind would say that the united states is not part of the battlefield in the war on terr terror. i would suggest that of all the
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places the enemy wants to hit us is here at home the most. their goal is to -- to kill us here. they'll kill us in libya, they'll kill us in afghanistan, they'll attack our consulates, they'll kill our soldiers, they will blow up our embassies, they will hit us all over the world, but don't be misled that if you -- that they -- they want to hit us here. remember 9/11? i do. i'm sure you all do. well, you know what? the only reason we haven't had another 9/11 is we've been fighting these bastards over there. we've been getting good intelligence. the people held at guantanamo bay, it took a couple years before any of them told us what was going on and we found abou about -- found about bin laden not because we tortured people, because we put the intelligence puzzle together over time by holding people urn the law of war and -- under the law of war and gathering good intelligence and we got bin laden. but you know what?
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bin laden's dead, the war's not over. i wish it were. now, senator levin, the homela homeland. if you've got a planned attack on a navy vessel or a military installation, i think the point you were making is that we already have authorized the use of force to protect the country against the taliban and al qaeda. is that right? mr. levin: levin: my opinion tht is the fundamental, core ruling in the hamdi case. now, hamdi, we've got to be accurate, applied in the circumstances to citizens that were captured in afghanistan. but their reasoning that they used led them to conclude that there was an explicit -- an explicit authorization to detain those citizens, even though they're american citizens. and their argument was that th the -- that detention -- capture
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and detention, is an inherent, in their words, is so fundamental to capture and detain is such an accepted and incident to war as to be an exercise of the necessary and appropriate force which congress authorized the president to use. and so in my analogy, if a boatload full of al qaeda, including an american citizen, comes to a navy base and attacks that base and is captured by those sailors, that is surely an incident of war and i believe the capture and detention of those al qaeda terrorists would be the exercise of necessary and appropriate force which we authorized the president to use in the authorization for military force. that's my -- mr. graham: i'll build on that just to make sure that we understand about a potential attack on a navy base here at
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home. no one is suggesting that the military could not use force against an al qaeda attack here at home. the hamdi case was an american citizen captured in afghanistan. i hope we're not trying to create a -- a picture that somehow america is a place where our own military cannot fire a shot in defense of their ships or our country. so we have in virginia, let's say, we've got some ships up there and you've got a boatload of al qaeda types trying to ram the ship. you agree with me that our military can use force to defend us here at home against al qaeda? is that right? so if our military is authorized to use force, they don't have to call the f.b.i. or the virginia state police to shoot. they can shoot themselves against an enemy coming at them in america. mr. levin: coming here and attacking us, a navy base or at
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a -- mr. graham: sliewlg. right. because we're not fighting a crime. we don't have to disarm our military and call the local cops, "would you please shoot these people they get here." no, we're going to shoot you. if you get in a boat asked to attack a military ship or boat in the united states, we're going to shoot you. and if we wound you, we're going to capture you. and then here's what we're going to do to you, incident of using force. the supreme court has said that when you authorize to use force, it makes no sense to give that authorization if you don't have the power to detain. because the worst thing you could do to the american military is to make them to kill everybody and capture no one. or let the other -- or let them go. so kill them all is not good policy and it's a bad spot to put your military in, and the
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option shouldn't be kill them all or let them all go. the option should be, kill where you have to and if you can capture, do so. do you agree with that? mr. levin: i do. mr. graham: and our military can fire the shots to use force to defend the homeland and defend themselves here at home and the supreme court says once you authorize the ability to use force, it just follows as night follows day, detention is part the ability to use force. because, ladies and gentlemen, if it's not, you've turned our military into murderers, because you're not supposed to shoot somebody who's wounded in the water and you shouldn't watch them swim away. you should capture them and you should interrogate them under the law of war. isn't that what hamdi is trying -- the point they're trying to make? mr. levin: it is, and as part of that point, it cites the kieran
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case, which says, "citizenship in the united states of an enemy belligerent does not relieve him from the consequence of a dlij reans which is unlawful because -- belligerence which is unlawful because of the violation of a law of war." here's the key. "citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of an enemy government and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy blej belligerents in the meaning of the hate convention." mr. graham: with regard to hamdi, there is no bar to this nation holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant. hamdi's detention could last for the rest of his life because the law of war of detention can last for the duration of the relevant conflict. here's what we are trying to do. we're trying to create a system consistent with the hamdi decision and, quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what i'm trying to avoid is the criminal paradigm because i know the
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difference between criminal law and law of war. under the law of war, you can detain somebody for interrogation to find out what the enemy's up to if you believe that person to be part of the enemy. and let me tell my friends, i do not want to take our criminal justice system and bastardize it. during the bush years and the military commission rollout, they had a provision that in a military commission trial, the military jury could be given classified information not shared with the defendant. i said, no, if a trial means anything, it means the right to confront those witnesses against you. i jealously guard that the worst al qaeda member in the world, when they go on trial in military commissions, will have a lawyer, the right to appeal to our supreme court, and will be able to confront every witness against them. an american citizen who joins
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al qaeda or the taliban will be tried in federal court because we took military commissions off the table. that's the trial. here's the question. if you're allowing our military to use force to protect themselves and us, as hamdi says, and naturally follows with the use of force comes the lawful detention. and that is why i will be voting for feinstein. i think that's where most americans are. and if there's any confusion, we can talk about this in conference. but, senator levin, i just want to thank you for about -- since 2006, working with me and against me. you know, our dispute went to the supreme court about what would be an active substitute for habeas and you won 5-4. and damn those judges but that's the way it goes. and you know what? [laughter] there were some republicans and democrats who disagreed with me
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and you both, but i respect an independent judiciary committe w justice roberts kind of got some people made at him because of the decision of the obamacare. but that's the way it goes. that's the way these old judges are. i just really appreciate an independent judiciary. and after that decision in 2006 or 2007, i just want to say how much of a pleasure it's been to work with you and others to try to find a way to achieve a balance in a war that's hard to understand. there is no capital to conquer. there is no airplanes to shoot down in terms of their jet fighters. there's no navy to sink. but they use boats to attack us. they use private planes to kill us. at the end of the day, we're in a war, the outcome does matter, and i want to win this war. i know everybody in this body wants to win this war. i want to live within our values.
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i'll work with you and senator mccain to say, even though we're fighting the worst people on the planet, count me out when it comes to waterboarding. people on my side, i remember and i understand them very well, why do you care about what we do to these people? they'll cut our heads off because we're americans. it's not necessary to win the war to go down that road. and, quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, the opposite is true. you can't win this war if you don't realize you're in a war. we're not fighting common crime. we're fighting a vicious enemy. we can do it within our values. we can do it in due process, consistent with the law of war. and when we get in that criminal arena, consistent with criminal law. and as much as i disagree with this president, i will not deny him the ability that every commander in chief's had for decades as an option, if he chooses to use it. and if you want to go down the criminal road, you can, but we need the option.
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as much as i dislike president obama, i'm not going to use as a reason to change the law of war is because barack obama may put some people in jail that disagree with him. and i'm not going to buy into some of the rhetoric coming out of our side, a habeas corpus independent judiciary review means nothing if obama appointed the judge. we're better than that. i stand ready to vote for feinstein. i stand ready to work with my colleagues to continue to find a way to fight and win a war within our values, the outcome of which will matter, not only to us, but those who follow. god bless every person on the front line who's risking their lives at home and abroad. and here's what you have as a promise between senator levin and myself and many others. we're going to give you the tools to keep us safe and to keep your comrades safe.
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we're not going to do things in this war that make no sense in other wars. you need our help. you need our prayers. and you need the tools to fight and win this war and we will give you those tools. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i want to congratulate my colleagues on -- even though they appear to sometimes have disdain to the trial by jury, to now appear to be supporting the right to trial by jury. and i congratulate them on their conversion. i think they're still a little bit confused on hamdi. hamdi had to do with the citizen fighting overseas and nothing to do with the citizen here. i have great confidence the supreme court, given a ruling on the right to trial by jury, will affirm the right to trial by jury whether they were appointed by ronald reagan or president obama. so we'll have that fight on another day. i will say, though, that our oath of office says that we will
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defend the constitution against enemies, foreign and domestic. i met with cadets this week and they asked me about, what is the freedom we fight for? the freedom we fight for is the bill of rights, is the constitution. if we have careless disregard for the constitution, what are we fighting for? i i will tell you since i know this record of this debate will be widely read that i want to make former objection to the crazy bastards standard. i don't really think that if we're going to have a crazy bastard standard that we shouldn't have a right to trial by jury, because if we're going to lock up all the crazy bastards, for goodness sakes, would you not want if you're a crazy bastard to have a right to trial by jury? i think this is a very serious debate and should not be made frivolous. this is an ancient right that we have defended for 800 years, for goodness sakes. to say that habeas is due process is absurd. it's the beginning of due process. if you don't have a right to
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trial by jury, you do not have due process. you do not have a constitution. what are you fighting against and for if you throw the constitution out? if you throw the sixth amendment out? it's in the body of our constitution. it's in the bill of rights. it's in every constitution in the united states. for goodness sakes, the trial by jury has been a long-standing and ancient and noble right. for goodness sakes, let's not scrap it now. i will accept victory today. i hope we will win victory and reaffirm the right to trial by jury, but let's don't play any games with any aspect and really believe that any supreme court in the united states, whether appointed by a republican or a democrat, is going to say that an american citizen does not have a right to trial by jury. thank you, mr. president. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that gary mayo, an army fellow in senator hutchison's
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office, be granted full privileges during consideration of 3254. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: would you tell me, please, what the respective times for either side on this amendment is? the presiding officer: the opposition time is expired. proponents have six minutes remaining. mr. levin: will the senator yield? mrs. feinstein: i will. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: we are significantly over our time. we are happy to accommodate senator feinstein and others. mrs. feinstein: no. i just wanted to thank everybody. i think we had a good debate. i think we ended in a good place. i'm very hopeful that the body will pass this now by a large majority. i think there is some disagreement on the interpretation of hamdi, but i think this is a good discussion
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to have. i think these cases are very important. they are a whole series of cases. and so i just hope that we are successful tonight in achieving something that really hasn't been achieved for a decade. so i want to thank everybody, our cosponsors. i want to thank the chairman of the committee, and in particular senator graham who said what he said in a very spicy way. i didn't quite know where there was going to come out, but it came out just fine. so thank you, mr. president, and i hope we can vote. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: it was a good debate. senator feinstein, you are always gracious and alert and smart in your arguments. i want to say one thing that is not in doubt. some of my colleagues -- i think
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senator paul and others have suggested that somehow the law of the united states has been changed in recent years, and we need the feinstein amendment to fix it and restore the constitutional rights we're all entitled to. what i want to say, without any doubt and i think any fear of real contradiction is this amendment alters the history of the united states, alters the long-term understanding of the rules of war, places american citizens in a position where they cannot be treated effectively as an enemy of the state and detained and actually be in a position to be released to continue their war against the united states. i think that's bad policy, so i agree with senator levin and ayotte and others who share
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their view. i'm not quite -- i'm not quite able to understand. i'm not sure senator feinstein does that this therefore establishes through understandings of hamdi and supreme court decisions that therefore you can vote for it. i don't think it's the right step. i don't really think we should alter the historical position of the united states, that those who are at war with the united states are not treated as criminals. southerners who were captured by lincoln weren't released when washington dealt with the whiskey rebellion, he said to alexander hamilton, they went out to stop the rebellion, they were just citizens. so i would just say that is what i feel about that. mr. president, i'd like to call up -- set aside the pending business and call up amendment
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number 3009. the presiding officer: is there objection? the senator from michigan. mr. levin: repeat the question. mr. sessions: i would like to set aside the pending amendment and call up amendment numbered 3009. i understand it would not be voted on tonight, but i just thought i would like to get it pending. mr. levin: i wonder if the senator would speak on it without calling it up. without calling it up. i wonder if the senator would speak to the amendment without calling up the amendment. mr. sessions: i would be glad to if the chairman thinks that it won't be a problem calling it up at a later date. will he support me in that? mr. levin: i hope not. i don't even know what's in the amendment, but we're trying to accommodate a process where everybody is going to have a chance hopefully to call up their amendments. we have to do it in order where we know what is in the amendment. we have got to have our staffs
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have an opportunity to -- to make sure we understand what's in the amendment. we're working on this amendment. so i have no objection whatever if you're talking about the amendment, we are working hard on the amendment to get it in order. mr. sessions: all right. well, this has been conveyed to your staff -- mr. levin: we are working on it, but if you could not call it up or seek to call it up but speak to it, i would appreciate it. mr. sessions: mr. chairman, i would withdraw the offer of calling up the amendment, and i request to set aside the pending amendment. but i would share some thoughts about it, i think if my voice will hold up. it deals with the -- the ability of the congress of the united states to review any bilateral security agreement with
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afghanistan. congress was not consulted regarding the framework or the substance of the enduring strategic partnership agreement between the united states of america and the islamic republic of afghanistan. that was signed on may 1, 2012. the agreement commits the united states to establishing a long-term bilateral security agreement with afghanistan. in the past, congress has been consulted and sometimes provided advice and consent to the ratification of these type of agreements. the strategic partnership agreement already signed by president obama is a legally binding agreement that committed the united states to various policies, including those related to the drawdown of u.s. forces in afghanistan. it's broad, it's vague, and any further agreements entered into by the president that are based
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upon it should be reviewed by the appropriate congressional committees. the president and secretary of defense have stated that the united states continues to fight in afghanistan to defeat al qaeda, while the authorization of military force authorizes the president to use any means necessary to prevent any acts of terrorism against the united states, his authority to enter into bilateral security agreements with afghanistan should be looked at and reviewed at least by congress. bilateral security agreement will supersede not only the strategic partnership agreement, so this will be the bilateral security agreement. but additional memorandum of understanding related to special operations in afghanistan and detainee transfers will be part of this agreement. the issues addressed in the
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forthcoming bilateral security agreement are too important not to require congressional review. the amendment would require the president to submit any proposed bilateral agreement to the appropriate congressional committees 30 days before entering into the agreement, and this is not unreasonable. congress is exercising its role of oversight before the president makes long-term commitments that have significant ramifications from the size of forces that we commit to the legal authority of our commanders. so this will be a final agreement that will impact quite significantly a equipment financially, militarily and in blood and human support of our members. there have been other -- there is a history behind these kind
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of agreements. the senate approved the nato status of forces agreement. we actually voted on it and approved it in advance. a treaty, a former treaty was used as an underlying source of authority or a status of forces agreement on seven different occasions -- australia, guatemala, haiti, honduras, japan, korea and the philippines. congress has approved status of forces agreements three additional times. congress actually voted and approved marshall islands, micronesia and palau. now, senator webb, i think he might be able to come over tonight, really raised his concerns about this. senator webb expressed concern in the armed services committee that the afghannist and the
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parliament vote on the armed forces agreement but our congress is not voting on the status of the forces agreement. senator webb is a cosponsor of this amendment. and just to have that agreement, it's full and complete agreement that commits the united states to be fully reported to the congress of the united states i don't think is too much to ask. right now we don't have any indication that that would happen. there is some opposition to it, but why would that be a problem? why would the administration not want congress to know what our commitments are and what we would be expected to support? so i believe it's a good amendment. hopefully, we can get it moved forward, maybe accepted, but if not by vote.
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and i just would say i think we can handle it -- i don't think it should cause the objections that some see in it. this does not require that the amendment -- that congress have a right to vote to reject the amendment or approve the amendment. it simply says the agreement that's entered into, the sofa, have to be produced promptly to the congress. i think that's a reasonable position and i would ask my colleagues to support it. i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: mr. president, i take this time to explain an amendment that i hope i will be able to call up shortly, amendment numbered 3625. i take this time to explain that amendment at this point, knowing full well that our schedule
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might get difficult when these amendments are brought up at a later point. my amendment would strike section 341 of the f.y. 2013 national defense authorization act. it included language that would arbitrarily require the secretary of defense to cut the civilian and contractor work force to achieve equal savings as they achieve from the plan reductions in the military personnel for f.y. 2012-2017. this provision does not consider the work requirements of the department nor the law that states -- this is what the law says -- "the civilian personnel of the department of defense shall be managed each fiscal year solely on the basis of and consistent with the workload required to carry out the functions and activities of the department." what that means is that when we consider the number of civilian personnel needed by the
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department of defense, we look at the mission that they need to accomplish and we look at the budget support. that's how those decisions have been made. my amendment would strike the section 3341 that's in the committee draft and reaffirm that the civilian manpower requirements by stating the following. the secretary of defense consistent with the long-standing law which was expanded in a bipartisan effort in the f.y. 2012 ndaa bill to ensure that the civilian work force is sufficiently sized, a term copied from ten u.s.c. 129-a after taking into account military strategy requirements and military strength. the comptroller is required to report back whether the department is in compliance with the law. i'm pleased this amendment is cosponsored by senators akaka, boxer, begich, durbin, harkin, leahy, mikulski, and
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mccaskill and tester p. i might point out there is no such provision included in the house ndaa bill. i would like to note what this amendment does not do. it would not prevent the department of defense from downsizing the civilian work force, indeed according to the house armed services committee, the department is already reducing its civilian work force by over 10,000 positions in fy 2012 alone. it would not treat service contractors any different than civilian employees. the goal of this amendment is pretty simple. i would reaffirm the law that prohibits d.o.d. from managing its civilian work force by arbitrary constraints. that's what this provision that i am asking to be stricken by my amendment, would do. it would set caps and cuts. downsizing is inevitable but consistent with the law.
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it should be based on the work load analysis and the budgets that are provided through the congressional process. this would repudiate the whole notion that what happens in qun department's work force automatically affects the other. the way that the language came out from the committee, regardless of the needs of our civilian missions within the department of defense, its cut would be tied to the -- to the military side, and the contractors would also be affected. it should be based upon their mission, it should be based upon their budget. there shouldn't be an arbitrary provision. proponents of section 341 would insist it should be reduced by 5% because the obama administration would reduce the military work force by approximately 5%. but they're different missions, different priorities and they need to be judged based upon
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their respected priorities and missions. earlier today the administration released a statement of administration policy that clearly rejects the current section 341 in the bill. i'm quoting from the administration's statement of policy. the administration objects to section 341 which would reduce funding for civilian and contractor work force by a rate that is at least equal to the percentage of funding saved from the planned reductions in military personnel and strength. this would require savings and civilian and service contract work forces in excess of $5 billion over the planned savings through fy 2017. the administration believes the size of the civilian work force should be determined based on work load and funding, not on arbitrary comparisons to the military. to comply with this legislation, the department would need to significantly divest work load and impose work force caps.
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mr. president, what the committee did, i don't know if it was intentional or not, what the three committee did, they imposed their own sequestration order on the civilian and contractor work force within d.o.d. that makes no sense whatsoever. everyone here has been outspoken about the -- that it's wrong to do this across-the-board cuts that have nothing to do with priority or missions. well, my amendment would strike that provision from the committee bill, it would substitute instead law that requires that the work force be determined by mission and budget. it does not prevent at all from us downsizing, we all know we've got to downsize, and the budget downsizes the civilian and contractor work force. but we shouldn't be setting arbitrary caps within what we've already done through the review and budget process. i'm pleased that this amendment is supposed to by many of the groups that are directly impacted by the decisions here.
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when i have a chance to file this amendment i urge my colleagues to support the amendment so that we can correct this provision in the bill which i think allows us to comply with current law, protect the mission of the department of defense, and establish priorities in a way that we should, not by cash temporary caps. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i've been tempted to contact the primary author of the amendment, 3199, senator durbin. let me first of all ask unanimous consent that i be added if i'm not already as original cosponsor to the amendment 3199. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i think it's interesting that this amendment is coming up at this time. because it was just a matter of a couple of hours ago we passed an amendment on this floor
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extending our effort and our policy against the l.r.a., lord's resistance army, that's joseph kony is the individual who for now over 20 years has been abducting young people, training them, taking them up and forcing them to go out and fight with the l.r.a., and if they didn't do it, they'd have to go home and murder their own family, and it's just been a horrible thing. we're making great progress now and i've spent a lot of times, primarily in uganda where this all began. and it looks like now we are getting closer to that. and the reason i'm interested in the amendment 3199 by senator durbin and -- and am supporting it is because a very similar thing is going on right now. i happen to have 1234e7b9 spept some time in the eastern part of the congo where i've seen the rise of another individual,
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colonel mkenga, very much like joseph kony. in fact, he is training the young people, the young kids to be fighters and they're going out and we all know about the -- the effort out there with what they call the rebel leader of munch 1223 -- of m-23. the uganda effort and the l.r.a. effort was very prominent actually in eastern congo, the same place, and i have suspected myself that there is a relationship between the two efforts. so i strongly support that. i want say one thing, though, i have strong feelings about and make sure to get on the record and i'd like to have my comments placed in the record at the time that this amendment comes up for consideration. and that is a lot of people were feeling that one of the problems with the m-23 leaders came from rwanda itself and even at some
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time had talked about president kagami, president paul kagami, if there is a relationship between this butcher over there, the colonel mkenga and president kagame. there is no relationship whatsoever. in fact, the president kagame rejects what this rebel leader is trying to do. i had occasion to spend some time with louise mushikiwabo who is the foreign affairs minister for the republic of rwanda. i was with her, i have her picture right here. i was with her recently and she gave us the assurance that the president, president paul kagame is just as adamant about doing away with this -- this rebel leader, the colonel mkenga of the m-22 rebel
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movement. so i'm very happy to join in with this and want to make sure that i have my assurance in this that there is no relationship between this rebel movement and the president of rwanda. with that i yield the floor. i see the author of this amendment is on the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i thank my colleague from illinois. many of my colleagues may not be aware of his tense personal interest and dedication to the continent of africa. he has probably traveled there more than any other member of the united states senate. it has been a great opportunity, experience and education for me to travel there over the years, but my few visits don't come close to the commitment made by the senator from oklahoma and i appreciate his cosponsorship of the amendment which is pending which we hope will be cleared.
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i've been to eastern congo twice, 2005 and 2010, goma. goma is one of those places you'll never forget once you visit it. this is one of the poorest places on earth. you see the poverty in every direction, you see the disease, you see the victims of war in every direction because there's been an ongoing war in this part of the world which literally rivals some of the great wars of our history in terms of the innocent people who have been killed, maimed, raped, and have suffered displacement and on top of all of these things in goma is an active volcano which erupted not many years ago covering this godforsaken part of the world with lava. and it troubles me to go there and see the suffering that goes on every day. and the ongoing war that is taking place, the rebel groups, m-23, have now taken over sections of eastern congo.
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eastern congo is known as the rape capital of the world. one of the tactics of war is to rape the women of any age in front of their families and then force these women many times to kill other members of the family who witnessed it. they estimate that regional war and rape leaves an estimated 1,000 or more women assaulted every day in the congo. 12% of all congolese women have been victimized by this. i met some of them. in a hospital called heal africa. a population of 8 million people, heal africa is the only hospital in the area that offers anti-retroviral drugs for children with h.i.v. and surgery to repair the bodies of these women. heal africa's cofounder passed away this past march. what a saint she was. while her death was a terrible loss for goma, heal africa and other organizations continue to
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carry on her vision, including many american medical students who come there to volunteer, god bless them. there was a declaration from purdue university when i visited and many others have followed. the rwandan genocide has been the root cause of many of the problems as well as a weak government in congo, eastern congo is virtually on its own with very little governance or protection and criminals run rampant. dr. dennis mcwagy runs a hospital there. a one-story hospital, ten new rape cases every single day and that's just the survivors who seek treatment. the victims range in age from 2 years of age to 80 years of age. the doctor says they arrive broken, waiting for death, hiding their faces. last month armed gunmen gem attacked this genuine hero at his home, murdering his guard and shooting at him likely
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because of a strong speech he gave at the united nations last month denouncing mass rape and impunity in congo. mr. president, the united nations has 20,000 member peacekeeping force in eastern congo to help the region's violence. the area is still very fragile. awash in weapons, warlords and competing regional interests but it's also rich in minerals that are found in our everyday electronics and cell phones. it's been said that congo war contains wars within wars and that's true, but fueling much of this violence is a bloody contest for control of these minerals. in the last congress i was proud to join in a bipartisan effort with senators brownback and others to protect the country's mineral wealth from fueling the region's horrific violence. the bill we passed asked for transparency from companies using these minerals and it has to be approved, i was happy to see in august that the securities and exchange commission approved the rule.
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it's a sound and fair rule. it was disappointed when the national association of manufacturers in the united states say they've already targeted this rule for a legal challenge. it's a modest provision for disclosure, to try to stop the death coming from the trade in these minerals. i appeal to the conscience of the c.e.o.'s of these companies in america that do their part to help end this violence that's going on in the congo. please, stop fighting this simple provision so that we can trace these minerals and stop the exploitation of these poor people. last week a well-armed group of rebels calling itself m-23 occupied goma. they threaten to continue their incursion and set the goal for kinshasa, the capital in the west. this move was condemned by the u.n. security council which expressed deep concerns about
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m-23. they're known for brutal violence. this is a little baby being passed by a truck hopefully to safety, a victim of the violence growing on with the m-23 rebels who have taken over this part of the congo. some of you may have seen that tragic photo in monday's "new york times." this baby is being hoisted into a packed truck as families try to get out. even more troubling, there is considerable evidence these rebels have and continue to receive strategic and material support from neighboring rwanda just as senator inhofe mentioned on the floor and potentially from uganda as well. news reports indicate the m-23 rebels have access to night vision goggles and other equipment they never had before, indicative of assistance from the rwanda army. we've seen reports that the rwanda -- rwandan army worked side by side with the rebels. a congolese governor stated the
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army ended the army and forced the congolese military to free. human rights watch have corroborated these reports and confirmed the rwandan government's role. there was some hope that the leaders in rwanda and uganda would meet last week to try to find some way to end this violence. yet it didn't occur. it appears that the rwandan president did not attend as he had once promised. rwanda's a friend of the united states. i visited president kagami and i've been to rowan davment it's certainly been -- rwanda. it's certainly been through its share of suffering and genocide in 1994. and it helped in peacekeeping efforts in sudan. with that kind of leadership, though, comes important responsibility. no one in rwanda or any country will benefit from a collapsed congo in which the rebels hold last swaths of territory and these impoverished people at gun point. i urge rwanda to rein in the m-23 rebels and work with its regional nieb neighbors to bring
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stability to eastern congo. to make sure this happens, senators boozman, boxer, coon coons -- let me get the entire list because i'm proud that they've joined me in this effort -- brown of ohio, cardin, and now senator inhofe have joined me in filing an amendment to this defense authorization bill that would impose an asset freeze and visa ban on any outside parties that are providing support to the m-23 rebels. an amendment i urge my friends, senators levin and mccain, to accept. i hope such sanctions won't be needed and that wiser heads prevail. the people of eastern congo have suffered long enough. now, i know that senator levin is working for the approval of this amendment. i sincerely hope that it can be done before the end of the evening. i'm going to at this point yield the floor in the hopes that we can bring this to a positive conclusion. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: let me compliment the senator on his concern for
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this activity that's going on there. i would like to clarify, though, for the record because i have had personal conversations wit with -- with the president, with many members of the staff and good friends over there. africa is a little bit different than other -- than other areas. sometimes there can be rebel groups within a country that are doing something that people attribute to a country. in this case, that isn't true with rwanda. in the case of rwanda, if they say that some of the rwanda military was supporting the m-23 movement, that would not be with the authority or the knowledge even of president kagami himself and his administration. i just want to make sure to clarify that and also to mention the area of goma that the senator from illinois' talking about is something a lot of people are not -- they don't understand what that is. goma is in the far eastern part of canning goal. the capital is kinshasa.
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it is further from kinshasa to goma than it is, of course, all the way across this country twice. so you're talking about an area where there is really not much control. it happens that the person is robert robera, parliamentary robera is the one who's responsible for that year. but the way it's worked in there, they really don't have any control over there. this is a rebel movement. the reason i say that i believe and i've always believed that there is a relationship between the l.r.a. and the m-23 is because i was over there when the l.r.a. had just left. we were hoping to be there at the same time. a matter of a couple days before. they went north up through the central african republic and up through actually south sudan over to uganda, where they originally started. that's the same area and the same motive, the same way of operating as -- as -- as m-23. they're abducting the little
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kids. people don't realize this. they'll abduct little kids, teach them how to use weapons and make them go back to their villages, murder their parents, murder their siblings. and if they don't do that, they cut their noses off and their ears off. we've got pictures. we've seen this happen. so this is -- i think there's a relationship here and i think that -- and i'm pleased that we have adopted as a policy of this country to intervene. let's keep in mind, we're -- we have a war against terrorism. this is terrorism. and as this has spread throughout the -- well, starting actually more in the horn of africa, djibouti and then moving down into the continent, this is the type of terrorism that -- that comes from this. so i consider this as a part of that war. but i do want to emphasize that the -- the accusation that -- that rwanda and their leadership and specifically paul kagami the president, let's remember what happened with paul kagami.
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he was the one back during the genocide of 1994 was able to come in and pull everybody together. a lot of the rebels went -- went to the west out of rwanda and went into the eastern part of congo. we know that's right. but they've been rejected by this. and there's no accusation that even -- there's even a relationship there. but i would just hope that people realize that we do have some really great presidents throughout the continent of africa. that is one of them. it's a difficult situation the there. it's one that we need to have our attention. and by the way, i would say that i don't believe that has been cleared on our side. it would be with me, but it hasn't happened yet and we'll hope to work in that direction so we can take this up. i yield the floor. mr. levin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the filing deadline for first-degree amendments to s. 3254, the department of defense authorization bill, be set at 9:45 today.
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the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, it is so ordered.
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mr. levin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings urn the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: mr. president, i understand that amendment number 3199, the -- senators durbin and inhofe, has now been cleared on both sides. so i would ask unanimous consent that this amendment now be called up and considered.
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the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from illinois, mr. durbin, proposes an amendment numbered 3199. at the end of subtitle d of title 12, add the following. section 1246. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent that the reading -- further reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i know of no further debate. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. is there further debate. if not, will all in favor say aye. any opposed say nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is adopted. mr. levin: i move to reconsider. a senator: move to lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: mr. president, let me thank senators durbin and inhofe for again focusing on a really
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critical issue. and i know africa seems far away and some of these events seem far away, but they've tried to bring them home to us and hopefully we will be listening, all of us, to what they have accomplished and what we've done here tonight. i hope the american people realize the importance of this issue and that the message will be clear to those who are violating civil rights so horrendously. and i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. under the previous order, the questions on amendment numbered 3254 offered by the senator from new hampshire. amendment numbered 3245. excuse me. the senator from new hampshire. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in chambers wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 54, the
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nays are 41. the amendment is agreed to. mr. reid reid: move to reconsid. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president? mr. president, could we have order. the presiding officer: will the chamber please come to order. may we have orderment -- order. the majority leader. mr. reid: mr. president, we have one more vote t. will take -- start in just a few minutes. senator levin wants to say something about the schedule for tomorrow. senator levin. come right here. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: we're going to be making a unanimous consent request and we'd like to do it right now, that tomorrow morning, that there be debate and votes on the following five amendments: sessions on bilateral discussions with afghanistan, sessions 3009; cardin, amendment number 3025 on civilian personnel; menendez,
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3232 on iran sanctions; nelson, 3073 involving widows and orphans; and coburn 3254 involving second amendment rights for veterans. now, my request is that we have unanimous consent -- i will make a unanimous consent request now, that tomorrow morning, whatever time is allotted for morning business by the leaders, after that -- no morning business -- that we then proceed. now, we don't have time agreements yet on these five. that's going to take a few minutes. but my unanimous consent request is that immediately after prayer tomorrow, that we move to these five amendments and we'll allocate as little time as we can tonight after this u.c. agreement is agreed to, if it is. mr. schumer: reserving the right to object. would this allow a vote, an up-or-down vote on the coburn amendment? would this allow an up-or-down vote on the coburn amendment? mr. levin: this will.
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mr. schumer: i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question is on amendment number 3018, offered by the senator from california, mrs. feinstein. the majority leader. [inaudible] the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber who have not voted or who would like to change their vote? if not, by the vote of 67-29 the amendment is adopted. the senator from michigan. without objection. the senator from michigan. the senate will come to order. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: the last unanimous
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consent request which was objected to listed five amendments. i'm now going to list the first four of those five amendments, so everybody knows what i'm doing. i ask unanimous consent it be in order for the following first-degree amendments to be offered to obviously tomorrow, there's no more amendments tonight, sessions 3009, cardin 3025, mends 3232 and nelson of florida 3073. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: reserving the right to object, i find it highly ironic we just passed an amendment to protect the constitutional rights of americans and we have objection to protecting the second amendment rights of the veterans of this country. how in the world can we say the people who fight and defend for us through a social worker
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deemed incompetent to carry a gun, that ought to be on the basis of a danger to themselves or someone else and it ought to be adjudicated and we have senators objecting to protecting the rights of the people who defend us. and on that basis, the contrary nature of that pace it's of what we just did, i will object to any further unanimous consents on this bill until we have a vote to protect the rights of the people who defend this country. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: mr. president, i just want to set the record straight. this is a -- this is a provision in the law that i worked on, in fact, with tax the gentleman from oklahoma anded sait something simple, if you
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are adjudicated mentally infirm you're on the same list that prevents you from buying a gun as if you're a felon. in my judgment, i love our veterans, i vote for them all the time, they defend us. but if you are mentally ill, whether you're a veteran or not, just like if you're a felon, if you're a veteran or not, and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun. and that no amendment, my friend, is absolute. the first amendment is not absolute, you're against antipornography laws. the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight and ninth amendments are absolute and as much as i believe in the second amendment and the right to bear arms and was a supporter of the heller amendment neither is the second amendment. i continue my objection to the provision. mr. mccain: may i be
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recognized? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: what we have here after 12 hiewrs today, eight hours yesterday and 42 amendments and many more coming in a manager's package, what we have is a situation where the senator from new york because of his passion which he just are a articulated refuses to allow the senator from oklahoma his rights as a senator, and that would be, since we have -- since we have taken up this legislation with amendments and votes with 51-vote majority in -- as applicable, we have moved through, i'm very proud to say, a very i think good process that i think all of us can be proud of. but the senator from new york because of his passion and commitment and belief, all of which i respect, will now prevent the senator from oklahoma from having his amendment considered. why? because he's afraid he will
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lose. the senator from south carolina and the senator from new hampshire and i have been losing all day long. and i'm passionate about that. but i would ask my colleague from new york, do we really want to have a situation because the depth of our passion now dictates whether the senate should be allowed to go forward? the senator from oklahoma has the same right as every other senator has had to propose amendments. i'll be glad to debate it and up or down. because if we're now going to tell our colleagues that if you have an amendment and you feel that you're going to lose and it really goes to the heart of your beliefs that you're not going to allow the senate to work, i think that's a ver bad and dangerous precedent for us to set. so passions are high tonight, i say to my friend from michigan and i hope maybe overnight, i
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think we have a pending amendment now and there will be other amendments that will line up and we could then maybe overnight calm down a little bit and move forward with a process that we've enjoyed for the last two days. no matter how passionate we feel about a particular issue, we should let the senate work its will. otherwise, we will never complete a piece of legislation around here unless we go back to what we've been doing before and that's fill up the tree, file cloture and then none of us are able to engage in what the united states senate should. and that's open and honest debate and respecting the will of the majority. so i urge with all respect and appreciation for the senator from new york's passion, allow this process to go forward. let an amendment be considered. let a second-degree amendment be considered. and respect the will of the majority, and move on and live
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to fight another day. otherwise, we will derail, we will derail the defense authorization bill that we've managed to pass for the last 51 years and the men and women who are serving in the military and our nation's security will be jeopardized. yo swro want to get into a fight with the senator from new york. i respect his passion. but i hope that for the good of the institution that he would allow this process to go forward just as it has for the last couple of days. i thank my friend from new york for listening. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, along the same lines, i would hope at that at least with these four amendments which are now ready to be debated and voted upon our friend from oklahoma would allow that to proceed with the notice that from there on he would not allow any unanimous consent agreement. but this one has been worked on so long, these four amendments are so lined up so nicely for
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debate tomorrow, that i would urge him to relent and allow us to at least proceed to those four amendments and he's now put the body on notice that he would not agree to any additional beyond that. i happen to agree with my friend from arizona. we're going to debate, folks, sooner or later these amendments are going to be debated unless a cloture motion which is going to be filed tomorrow is approved on monday. and then we're right back in the same problem we've had, which has just been eloquently described by senator mccain. and if we don't vote cloture, this bill isn't going anywhere. if we do vote cloture, we will have made it impossible for some people to offer amendments which they should be allowed to offer. let us be clear on what's happening tomorrow to the extent it's possible, which is not very extensive. there's a pending amendment and i want to understand -- i want to get the chair to confirm
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this. there is a pending amendment, it is a modified kyl amendment. this has been modified so that it's been worked out with senator kerry. that's pending. is the senator correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. i misspoke. the amendment has not yet been modified but it is pending. mr. heaven: mr. levin: it will be modified tomorrow morning. mr. levin: at that point the chair is going to ask whether there's any additional debate on that amendment. if there is no additional debate, then the chair is going to put the question. if there's a request for a roll call, there will be a roll call. if there's not, it will be voice voted. at that point, the floor is open and i intend to then offer the sessions amendment, the first one on this list and then that's going to be open to debate. and if our colleagues want to come here tomorrow and
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filibuster or prevent a vote on the sessions amendment, they're going to have to come here and debate. but we have tried the best we know how to move this bill forward. we've done everything we know how and we've made great progress but the members of this body being extremely cooperative. we're not giving up. so the technique which is the only one left to us, given these two objections, the only technique we have is the one that i just identified, to have the pending amendment, the kyl amendment after it's modified debated, no one wants to debate the chair is going to put the question or we'll are have a roll call on it if people want it and then the floor is open. and i will be offering the next one in line which is the sessions amendment. and then if people want to debate that or filibuster that, that's the rules of the senate allows you to do it but i don't think that's what's going to happen. mr. mccain: could i also add,
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i think we need to look at this in the larger context. the larger context is there is a looming crisis in this body that the majority leader is going to possibly exercise a nuclear option which then would change the way we do business around here especially on the motion to proceed. the senator from michigan and i had to two goals in mind. one, to achieve conclusion of the defense authorization bill, which is vital to our national security, which i think we would all agree. but we also wanted to show our colleagues and maybe the country that we could just move forward in a normal fashion with legislation, amendments, and final votes without cloture petitions, without blocking things, without objecting to other people's amendments, time agreements like such as we have just completed in the last 20 hours, some 42 debates -- amendments that have been completed. so, again, i urge my colleagues, let's show ourselves and the majority
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leader and those who want to exercise this nuclear option that we can take up legislation in an orderly fashion and come to a conclusion and do the people's work. so there's more here, frankly, than just a refusal to allow an amendment. we are then going to again show that we have to file cotour and then there will be people who -- on and on. and then i say to my friends on this side of the aisle, that is going to mean that it's more likely that we have this showdown which we think -- many of us think would be devastating to this institution and the way that it's done business for a couple a hundred years. the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. and i just want to say to my colleague from arizona, i very much appreciate his words and i appreciate the respect he's shown how i feel about this particular issue, but i'd like to say another thing here. we're a little bit in alice and
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wonderland. the number of times i've risen to my feet to object because i didn't want an amendment to come forward can be counted on a single hand in this body over the last year or two. my good colleague from oklahoma has made it a -- he has made himself a legislative powerhouse by regularly using that practi practice. in fact, my guess is -- more than my guess, the reason his amendment was included on the list of five -- there are hundreds of amendments pending -- is because he told people just what he would do. he would object to every other amendment unless his amendment was included. and so let me say here, let me say here that if this process is going to change, it's not going to start changing in one of the rare moments when the gentleman from new york or some of my colleagues here use a process that's been regularly used by the other side to achieve their goals or thwart other people's
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goals. and we're not going to start at this moment changing things when an amendment of great importance to many of us on this side is at risk. i find it unfair and, in fact, i find it a little bit turning the world inside -- or not the world but the facts of how this body works inside-out. because it's well-known that my good friend from oklahoma and others have used the very rule that i have used tonight over and over and over again. and that, in fact, i would say to my -- both my colleagues from michigan and from arizona, is one of the reasons we're so frustrated with the present state of the rules. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: you know, all we're asking for the veterans of this country is that if their rights are taken away, that it be adjudicated by a judge or a magistrate. that's all we're asking. rather than a social worker at the v.a., which is what happens
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today to veterans. we're not -- we're not -- we're not asking for anything big. we're just saying that if you're going to take away the second amendment rights, which means all those who truly should lose their rights will lose them. but they ought to have it adjudicated rather than mandated by somebody who's unqualified to state that they should lose their rights. i will announce today right now that i will not object if senator levin again offers the amendment that will put four amendments on the floor. i won't object to that. i -- i want to cooperate in this body. but i think you ought to think about what we just voted on, which i voted for, which is to protect the bill of rights for people of this country, to
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protect the bill of rights for people of this country. there could be no one who we should want to protect the bill of rights for more than somebody who served our country. so we can object. all i'm saying is, is let them at least have their day in court if you're going to take away a fundamental right given under the constitution. so i will say today, if the -- if the senator from michigan offers his unanimous consent again, i will not object and we will move forward because i want us to move forward, i want us to finish this bill, i want the defense department to be able to have something they can count on for the next year. but ask -- ask yourself in your heart, how fair is it? we're worried about terrorists and their bill of rights but we're not worried about wanting to defend their country and their bill of rights? tell me how we got to that poi
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point. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? mr. president? mr. levin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that it be in order for the following first-degree amendments to be offered: sessions 3009, cardin 3025, menendez, 3232, nelson of florida, 3073, that at 9:30 a.m. on friday, tomorrow, november 30, following the prayer, that the senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed, that there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote, that there be no amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mccain: regerveg the right to object -- reserving the right to object and i will not object. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: as i understand, there's still no time agreements on them. mr. levin: that is correct. we will work out time agreements -- mrs. boxer boxer: reserving thet to object. mr. mccain: i still have the floorment in levin -- floor.
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mr. levin: in response, there is no time agreement yet but -- mr. mccain: i just want to clarify. mr. levin: i did not state that correctly. that i believed, and i'm now wrong, that there would be a time agreement on each amendment that we would attempt to arrive at. that is not what this says. this provides -- and i'm going to read it again. and i did not listen to my own reading. that at 9:30 following prayer tomorrow, senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed and that there be two minutes equally divided prior to each vote and there be no amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes. now, i would think we ought to have more debate on some of these amendments than that but, nonetheless, the debates could take place tonight. a senator: reserving the right
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to object. i ask the distinguished chairman, does your unanimous consent say that -- the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: does your agreement say that the only time for debate on these amendments is two minutes? mr. levin: tonight is open to debate. tonight. mr. menendez menendez: tonight o debate and tomorrow there will be two minutes on each amendment. because senator kirk and i have an amendment that several members have asked to speak on, including the distinguished ranking member, so i would just then urge them to come tonight and speak on it and i will not object. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona, is there objection? mrs. boxer: reserving right to object. reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: reserving the right to object and i will not object. i want to speak for 20 seconds and this is what i want to say. there are amendments and there are amendments. we all know that. and i think that we have shown that we can work together.
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but when you try to repeal a law that protects the lives of people, you talk about protecting the rights, i'm with you. i also want to protect the lives of people. and coming from a state where we've had many mass shootings, it may take a little longer. maybe we ought to have a hearing or two before you repeal a law that is so important to the safety of the people. i will not object. i will see you all tomorrow. mr. coburn: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: reserving the right to object. this bill came out of the veterans' committee 14-0. they had hearings on it. we have done the work. it has been done. it came out unanimous of the veterans' committee. it's -- there's no question about what is right to do in terms of protect -- this isn't about allowing anybody with any mental disease to have a gun. this is about protecting the rights of those who don't have a
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mental disease to have their rights restored. the presiding officer: does the senator from oklahoma object? the -- there's been a unanimous consent request. if there's n no objection, so ordered. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: i now call up a list of -- i call up a list of 17 amendments which have been cleared by myself and senator mccain. and i'm going to list these amendments. the presiding officer: will the senate come to order. the senator from michigan needs to list out the amendments so would the senate please come to order. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: udall amendment number 2940, brown of massachusetts amendment number
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3036; toomey amendment number 3064. levin amendment 3114. casey amendment number 3193. risch amendment number 3213. wicker amendment number 3220. johanns amendment number 3222. coburn amendment number 3237. levin amendment number 3243. lieberman amendment number 3256. cornyn amendment number 3260. mccain amendment number 3261. kyl amendment number 3271. webb amendment number 3275. nelson of nebraska amendment number 3279. the presiding officer: is there objection to -- mr. mccain: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: and i will not object. the presiding officer: will the senate come to order. will the senate please come to order and you can take your conversations out in the hall. mr. mccain: we now have 17
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more amendments. we will be proceeding tomorrow morning and i want to tell my colleagues, we will be looking at other amendments to put in the package. the presiding officer: will the senate come to order. will senators please take their conversations out in the hallways. or back in the cloakroom. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: we'll be looking at other amendments to put into a package that we can agree on. but i would also urge many of my colleagues who have clearly redundant and duplicative amendments to take a look at their amendments and withdraw them, if possible, so that we can dispense with remaining amendments as soon as possible tomorrow. i want to thank especially senator feinstein and senator graham and senator ayotte and those who were involved in this whole detainee issue. i think that there was a result that helped us to move forward enormously and i want to thank, obviously, the chairman for his
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unlimited patience which is something that i -- a quality which i do not have. the presiding officer: is there objection to the unanimous request -- unanimous consent request to adopt the amendments en bloc? without objection, so ordered. mr. levin: the -- the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i ask consent that these amendments which i believe by the chair's ruling have been -- are to be considered en bloc, also that the amendments -- that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. and my understanding is now that the senate is open -- the floor is open to debate and that hopefully folks -- people want to debate on these four amendments will debate tonight so that the two minutes tomorrow will be adequate. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey.
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mr. menendez: mr. president, if i could just ask the distinguished chairman a question. if i could ask the distinguished chairman a question. i would assume, then, that at this point i would not have to call up the amendment. that would be in order for tomorrow? [inaudible] mr. menendez: mr. president, i'll ask to call up my amendment, the only amendment i have pending with senator kirk. the presiding officer: without objection. and does the senator have a number on that? the clerk will report the amendment. mr. levin: it's 3232, i believe. the presiding officer: the clerk will report amendment 3232, the amendment in question. the clerk: the senator from new jersey, mr. menendez, for himself and others, proposes an amendment numbered 3232. mr. menendez: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that we waive any further reading. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president,
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first of all, i appreciate where we're at. mr. president, this is a bipartisan amendment. it's an amendment with senator kirk and senator lieberman. it is a continuing perfection of sanctions as it relates to iran that has been unanimously passed by this body approximately a year ago, last december. mr. president, iran has set its sights on achieving nuclear weapons capability and this would not be in the national security interests of the united states because we have tens of thousands of our troops which would be in harm's way if iran were to have nuclear weapons. it would not be -- mr. president, the senate's not in order. the presiding officer: could the senate come t to order. the senate will come to order.